Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mainstream media quick to judge a person quilty and slow to report they were innocent

Marvin Washington

                                    Good Day Humboldt County! 

  Sensational headlines followed by stories that stir the public’s anger or horror, compete daily in the nation’s newspapers, magazines and blogs. A war of words waged to get your attention.

  News outlets are constantly searching for stories designed to invoke a gut reaction among readers. You see them everyday. You don’t always hear about how they end up unless it goes badly for the accused.           

 The following story is a recent example of the media rushing to judgment, and then not following the case after learning a person is innocent:

When Marvin Washington Jr. (pictured) was arrested last month for allegedly spitting into a customer's sweet tea at a McDonald’s in Simpsonville, S.C., the incident made news around the globe. When the charges were dismissed a few weeks later? The media barely paid it any attention.

Since then, Marvin Washington, 19, has embarked on a campaign to clear his name and convince the world that he is not the person behind the initial headlines. The college freshman says he aims to get a graduate degree in healthcare and become a nurse practitioner. And he fears the incident will haunt him forever, or scuttle his job chances if a future employer Googles his name and finds the original story.

"I worry that people will only remember the first part -- that I got arrested. They probably won’t care that the case got dropped, they will probably assume I did it. And I want to tell them, 'I didn’t do that, I’m not that type of person.' I want them to know, 'I’m a good young man' and that these allegations were false," he told the Los Angeles Times.” (Read full story here.)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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